Agnieszka Mastalerz

Agnieszka Mastalerz – student of Candice Breitz and Eli Cortiñas at Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Braunschweig (DAAD scholarship for 2019/20), previously by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin at the HFBK in Hamburg (Erasmus scholarship, 2017/18). She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in cultural studies from the University of Warsaw (2015). 

In 2016, Agnieszka graduated from Photographic Narrative Studio led by prof. Prot Jarnuszkiewicz where she completed her undergraduate thesis Disciplinary Mechanisms. In 2018 she obtained a part of her master degree in Visual Relations Studio titled H (Reconstruction of Position). She acquired main diploma in cooperation with Michał Szaranowicz at the Studio of Spacial Activities led by prof. Mirosław Bałka.

She exhibited in Palazzo Strozzi in Florence (VISIO. Moving Images After Post-Internet, curated by Leonardo Bigazzi, 2019), Starak Family Foundation in Warsaw (SOON_, 2019), Deichtorhallen in Hamburg (7. Triennale der Photographie, 2018), Fondation Hippocrène in Paris (imMoblized. Focus on the emerging art scene in Poland, 2018), Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (laureate of the 16. Hestia Artistic Journey Competition dedicated to young Polish artists, 2017).
January-March 2020 Agnieszka was a resident of AiR Futura, Prague.


Photographs, videos, 2016

By analysing the shape and material of hunting gear, the work examines the oppressiveness of environment geometrisation, it also looks at the analogy between hunting and photography – between fire arms and a camera, appropriating through firing a shot and capturing within a frame, pulling the trigger and pushing the shutter release button, between the moment of entrapping and recording. The aim of the project was to portray disciplinary mechanisms, the structure of disciplinary forms and supervision processes in a neutral point of view.

In the context of the given works, the term mechanism might be interpreted in two ways – either as a structure mechanism which leads directly to real subjection or as a device mechanism that creates a subconscious, hierarchical relationship between the observer and the observed. An example of a structure mechanism is a live trap, whereas a film recorded with a trail camera is an example of a device mechanism.

By comparing individual devices according to their size, shape, material and modus operandi, the project poses the question about the limits of interference in freedom.

Grand Prix at 12. Inspirations Festival in TRAFO Center for Contemporary Art in Szczecin, 2017.


Video, 00:08:42 (loop), 2018

The work reconstructs the positions visible on the archival photographs found in Neuengamme, Hamburg. As opposed to the documented event, in the video there is no one who influences the girl’s posture by holding her body – she repeats the choreography after somebody who is standing behind the camera.

Girl: Maria Kamińska

Choreography: Magdalena Fejdasz

Director of Photography: Krzysztof Werner

Sound: Żaneta Rydzewska

Location: Bersohn and Bauman Children’s Hospital in Warsaw

Video presented i.a. in the Three Plagues exhibiton in the Labirynt Gallery in Lublin 2019.

The project was financially supported by Masovian Voivodeship.